Sunday, January 8, 2012

What is our name?

Suppose a group of education thinkers and doers decided to band together around the education we'd like to see for our kids: the real pie-in-the-sky vision of what public funding for education can do. We're not pushing a particular school or model, but around how we think kids learn best, and what's needed to provide for it.

It's not "passion," because that only provides part of the story. It's the culture change in schools, brought about by respecting all kids for who they are.

It means the end to test-based accountability.

It means the end of batch-teaching.

It might mean the end of the classroom as we know it.

So it's a combination of political and cultural changes, both being important. A sea change in the focus of school, hardly even recognizable as public education.

What is our language? What is our name?

There are many names out there, emphasizing one aspect or another of this kind of education. There's passion-driven learning. The strengths movement. Democratic education. Free schools.

We run into the problem of the misuse of the language, the Orwellian, Bizarro-world of "education reform" that brings us stuff like, "Students First," Michelle Rhee's organization. You need a scorecard to keep track of who is for what.

Let's take back the language. Can we find an "umbrella" name under which we can all stand?

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